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Date 2021-03-12


Reconstruction of Taiwanese Early Post-war Literary Field: A Case Analysis with the Use of Digital Humanities Method


Táňa Dluhošová

Chen, Alvin Cheng-Hsien

Research Fellow, Oriental Institute of Czech Academy of Sciences

Assistant Professor, Department of English, National Changhua University of Education


Using an empirical quantitative analysis to examine Taiwan early post-war (1945-1949) literary field, this article aims at two main goals. Firstly, based on a multivariate statistical analysis — the Principal Component Analysis — on contributors’ publishing patterns in co-temporary periodicals, this article aims at disclosing publishing similarities among the agents during the period. The findings will then illustrate the clusters of agents in the literary field and characterize their habitus. Secondly, it will utilize the theory of literary field by a French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, which understands the field as a dynamic structure created by relationships between different members of the field. These agents may compete over the dominant position that enables those who have gained recognition by their peers (symbolic capital) to impose a binding definition of what literature is and what can be rightfully included in the canon. During the early post-war period, however, the dynamics of the literary field is not given only by symbolic capital, but also by other nonliterary forces. This article thus aims at re-examining Bourdieu’s theory in the context of Taiwan early post-war period literature and discuss the degree of autonomy of the literary field.

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